Minnesota Vikings running back, Adrian Peterson has been indicted on felony child abuse charges in Texas.
This announcement comes days after what has already been a rough week for the NFL which includes the Josh Gordon and Wes Welker suspensions, the Ray Rice fiasco, and the Greg Hardy and Ray McDonald domestic violence cases.
Peterson is alleged to have struck his four year old with a “switch”–a small branch or tree limb– “roughly 10-15 times,” last summer. To his credit Peterson has been cooperative with authorities by all accounts.
Peterson was immediately deactivated by the Vikings for last Sunday’s game. It is rumored that Peterson could be suspended 6 games under the new NFL domestic abuse policy.
To most people, this seems to be a media pushed story that has only been covered in light of the recent scrutiny toward the NFL. But, when photos surfaced showing the boy’s apparent cuts and bruises, emotional outrage ensued.
Peterson has since been reactivated by the Vikings, and will start this Sunday.
Hall of Fame Minnesota Vikings’ wide receiver, and now ESPN analyst Chris Carter states “this goes beyond ethnicity, religious backgrounds; people believe in disciplining their children.” He goes on to explain, “It’s the 21st century! You can’t beat a kid to make them do what they (sic) want to do.”
Hall of Fame NBA star had a disconcerting view, “I’m from the south. Whipping — we do that all the time. Every black parent in the South is going to be in jail under those circumstances.”
In a statement released on Twitter, Peterson is adamant that he is “not a child abuser.” He then details that he did not “intent” to cause “injury” to his child. He announces that he is not a perfect father, son, or husband, and that he strives to be better each day.
Peterson explains that he disciplined his child the way he was when he was a child, but admits that he might have gotten carried away.
“My goal is always to teach my son right from wrong, and that’s what I tried to do that day.”
Regardless on conflicting perspectives on child rearing and discipline, this is child abuse.
“I caused an injury that I never intended or thought would happen. I know that many people disagree with the way I disciplined my child. I also understand after meeting with a psychologist that there are other alternative ways of disciplining a child that may be more appropriate.”
Everyone has the right to discipline their child in just about any way they want. There’s no law that says that you can’t discipline your own child. However, it is only when cross that “gray area” that it becomes unlawful.
The law is little to no help in defining empirically what is child abuse. Presently, the most ethical and unbiased opinion is from a physician. And, if we have a professional physician saying that this case is child abuse, then what is left to be argued under current law?
Regardless on merit, intent and upbringing this is presently defined and undoubtedly child abuse.
If there is anything left to argue, let it be legislation and hope to make changes for future cases.
America is not a country of brutes. This world is full of sophisticated and well-spoken people. People can continue to use archaic, and frankly barbaric methods of child rearing. They are only preparing their children for limited success in this new generation.
This is a generation where technology, innovation, and communication are a necessity, not the product of public grandeur.
So go ahead and swing away toward your spouse, and children. Don’t stop there, brutalize the mailman, the cable guy, and the average Joe working the cash register. Attack anyone that gives you trouble for that matter.
Just know that while you drag your club fist, that the whole world will be moving forward without you.